Consultation on plans for Litcham School to convert to an academy and to join the Synergy Multi-Academy Trust
We are all immensely proud of our school. Litcham is the very good place that it is because of everyone’s contribution, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued invaluable support.
Our last Ofsted inspection in November 2015 graded us as Good. Since then, the school has improved significantly and we are determined that this journey will continue. As part of this process, we have been carefully exploring the options of converting to an academy, forming a Multi-Academy Trust or joining an existing Multi-Academy Trust. In 2016, the Governing Body decided that it would be in the best interests of pupils, parents and staff for the school to convert to an academy and they consulted with you regarding this at the time. In addition, they explored forming a Multi-Academy Trust of local schools but this option became increasingly unviable.
Following extensive research and consideration, the Governing Body have now resolved that Litcham School should become an academy and join the Synergy Multi-Academy Trust. As part of this process, we are now consulting with all stakeholders to gather their views.
Academies and Trusts are independent of Local Authority control, which means that they have more freedom in how they operate. They receive their finances directly from central government, which means they receive more funding because the Local Authority does not retain any. They are also directly liable for matters including insurance, health and safety, pensions, and property maintenance. Academies and Trusts receive funding from central government to meet these additional costs.
The Governors of Litcham School have set the following principles in determining their academy and Multi-Academy Trust proposals:
- The ethos and values of Litcham School should be maintained and developed
- Conversion to an academy and joining a Trust should lead to improved outcomes and opportunities for pupils
- Litcham School should retain a Local Governing Board (LGB) that will focus on pupil outcomes, teaching and learning, parent communication and staff development
- Litcham School should be able to add to the Trust as well as gain from it.
The Synergy Multi-Academy Trust is is made up of both secondary and primary schools from across our local area. Their vision is for all schools within the Trust to work together, to provide teaching and learning of the highest quality, and for all of them to provide an exceptional range of educational experiences and opportunities.
The aims of Synergy Trust are:
- To ensure that all of our young people achieve to their academic potential
- To ensure that by the time they leave education, all of our young people possess the skills and attributes that will help them succeed in the world of work
- To provide the culture, ethos and values that ensure our young people leave our schools as good citizens and kind people.
All partner schools within the Trust are committed to working together, to supporting each other and to learning from each other.
Member schools of the Synergy Trust are currently:
- Astley Primary School
- Bawdeswell Primary School
- Corpusty Primary school
- Foulsham Primary School
- Mattishall Primary School
- Reepham Primary School
- Reepham High School and College
All partner schools work together to:
- Improve the quality of teaching and learning
- Collectively recognise and nurture the talents and aspirations of their staff
- Allow school leaders and teachers to share effective practice and work together rather than just talk together
- Improve cost-efficiency through collaboration
- Be part of a formal support network with collective responsibility.
As a Trust, they satisfy all of the criteria set by the Governors.
The biggest positive from the partnership will be the opportunity to share good practice, in terms of teaching and learning and the development of leadership and management. These are key aspects in terms of improving outcomes for pupils.
We have identified a significant number of additional benefits to joining Synergy Multi-Academy Trust, as follows:
- Working with other strong schools, with the ability and commitment to support each other to improve and provide an excellent education
- Better staff recruitment, training, career development and retention
- Local Governing Boards responsible for improving teaching and learning, with increased funds as a result of improved efficiencies in back office support and costs, and joint procurement
- Opportunities for new staffing structures, sharing specialists and delivering shared services, including catering, grounds maintenance and IT
- A commitment to developing leaders and opportunities across the Trust
- Different ways of governance, with a clear focus on strategic development, teaching and learning, and accountability
- Robust leadership, management and governance.
How can you find out more and how can you take part in the consultation?
This letter can only really give a flavour of the benefits of joining Synergy Multi Academy Trust and I expect there are many questions you will want to ask.
We have attached a MAT Consultation Brochure that details our proposals and further information on academies through the following website: www.pta.org.uk/For-Parents/Understanding-education/A-parents-guide-to-Multi-Academy-Trusts-MATs
In addition, I will be available to meet you in school on Monday 26th February and Monday 5th March from 4.30 – 6.00pm. We would encourage you to attend if you have any questions, or simply want to learn more.
The closing date for representations to be made is Friday 16th March. Representations can be made in writing to:
Mr Robert Martlew
C/o Mrs Rhonda Taylor-Balls
Or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All contributions to the consultation will receive a response and these will be displayed on the school website. Subject to the outcome of the consultation and approval from the Secretary of State, we would hope to convert to an academy and join the Multi-Academy Trust as soon as possible after 1 July 2018.
We will of course keep you informed at all stages of this process.
Gary Hinchliffe, Chair of Governors
Robert Martlew, Headteacher